By Kevin J. Jones
Denver, Colo., Aug 6, 2015 / 12:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The 70th anniversary of the US atomic strikes on Japan has prompted reflection, commemoration, and debate about the ethics of war and the world’s nuclear arsenal.
“There’s no winning in nuclear war,” Maryann Cusimano Love, an international relations professor at the Catholic University of America, told CNA. Hiroshima and Nagasaki teach “how horrific nuclear war is.”
“Many folks are not aware of how many nuclear weapons remain with us today and how dangerous these arsenals are,” she continued. “That is why the Catholic Church has continued to argue that we have to get rid of nuclear weapons, that the presence of these weapons is very dangerous for human life and very destabilizing.”
Seventy years ago, the only wartime use of nuclear weapons took place in the Aug. 6 attack on Hiroshima and the Aug. 9 attack on Nagasaki by the United States.
The Hiroshima attack killed around 80,000 people instantly and may have caused about 130,000 deaths, mostly civilians. The attack on the port city of Nagasaki killed about 40,000 instantly and destroyed a third of the city, the BBC reports.
The attacks took a heavy toll on all of Japan’s population, but Nagasaki was a historic center of Catholicism since European missionaries such as St. Francis Xavier arrived in the 16th century. After Japan’s rulers closed the country, in part due to fears of foreign domination, Japanese Catholics survived centuries of persecution before their freedom of religion was secured again in the 19th century.